Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dorcus, the Mother of my Mother

I had just finished toasting some bread over the fire. The sun was barely peaking up over the horizon, and gave us just enough light to read. I sat down with my hot cup of tea ready to begin the day when Jeremy, our team leader, came over and asked to speak to Jonathan and I. We casually got up and joined him away from the fire and the others. He was joined with Robert, another trainer. “I just received an email from your dad,” Jeremy began. “He wanted me to let you know that your grandmother had passed away.” The wave of grief washed over me fiercely and I broke down dropping my toast on the dirt. Jonathan took my tea out of my hand and held me as I sobbed. 

My Senior Prom 2004
So, who is this woman who caused so much deep grief in me that morning? To let you in on my intimate relationship with my grandmother, Dorcus, I will have to take you back 13 years. You see, Dorcus had 8 children (4 girls and 4 boys), and the youngest girl was a wonderful woman named Donna, my mother. 

My mom is 2nd from the left

When I was 16 years old, the Lord called my mother home. It was after her death that I clung to my grandma. She was the last part of my mother that I had. After mom’s death, grandma opened her home up to us and we lived with her for several months. We grieved together, and she quickly became the nurturer that I was longing for. She not only became that to me, but to my sisters as well. She taught me how to cook, and told me stories of mom I had never heard. Most importantly, she taught me how to pray. She was a prayer warrior and her whole day was wrapped around worshipping her Lord. She called me her morning buddy, and we would sit at the table in the mornings and talk for hours and hours. We would laugh and cut up and also miss mom and cry together. 

So many memories were made in that kitchen
Anyone who knew her knew that she just loved people, and she had a sassy side. A lot of people say that is where I get it from. She loved to pick and cut up with people and make them laugh. We would go to Wal-Mart together and spend hours shopping, talking and cutting up. She made me laugh so much. 

  As we were leaving to come back to the field, I visited her one last time. We both knew it would be the last time, so we both stalled when it came time to say good-bye. She gave me a few pairs of her earrings and sat me on her bed. She took my hands and told me she loved me. Then we hugged and cried for a while. I told her I loved her and how thankful I was for her. As I let go to leave, she held my shoulders, and looked my in the eyes. Her beautiful blue eyes were filled with tears as she said, ‘Ill see you in the morning.’ “Ok grandma, “ I said, “Ill see you in the morning,” and I walked out the door.

The trainers were very gracious to both Jonathan and I and let us skype into the funeral. It was a cold evening as we sat in front of the computer thousands of miles away from our grieving family members. However, the blessing of skype allowed us to grieve with them as we celebrated her life. Her church had a video from a women’s gathering of Grandma’s testimony. The projector came down, and she comforted us with her story. As we listened to her and watched her, we laughed and cried knowing that she was celebrating with her husband, daughter, siblings and parents who had gone before her. She is the only person I know who preached at their own funeral, and it is proof that she always got the last word. We are so thankful that we were able to ‘be there’ for the celebration of that very special lady, my wonderful grandmother, and other mother, Dorcus. 
To best sum up what she means to me, here is a letter I wrote to her in November, but I never had the chance to mail it to her:


I am not sure when you will get this letter, but Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Well, since it is a week before Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving. You have been on my mind a lot, so I decided to write you a letter. We were discussing people of prayer and you immediately popped into my mind. I thought about how you have always been a prayer warrior in my mind and I wanted to let you know. I’m sure you (knowing your humble spirit) would disagree. But grandma, you should know how much people look up to you. I’m going to miss cooking with you at Thanksgiving, but I am so thankful for those memories. I love and miss you, but also know that we are right where God wants us to be. He is so faithful and good to us. There is such a deep fulfillment in our hearts. Thank you for being such a good example to so many people. Thank you (and grandpa of course) for raising your kids in a Godly home. Mom and dad passed that on and Jonathan and I are on the mission field because of your faithfulness. I think about our times together often; about cooking, goofing off, going to Wal-Mart, K&W, and Chic-fil-a. Those are  important memories to me and I am so so so thankful for them. I love you and Ill see you when I see you. 

Your (favorite  ;-) ) granddaughter,

Holly Lesley